CLEVELAND, OH – There’s a key element to Ohio’s warrantless pursuit statute that has been consistently ignored about Cleveland police crossing East Cleveland’s borders that have caused numerous deaths over the years. Section D of R.C. 2953.03 requires there be an agreement that authorizes it between municipal corporations in the same territory. No agreement. Don’t cross the border.
“If a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, municipal police officer, member of a police force employed by a metropolitan housing authority under division (D) of section 3735.31 of the Revised Code, member of a police force employed by a regional transit authority under division (Y) of section 306.35 of the Revised Code, special police officer employed by a port authority under section 4582.04 or 4582.28 of the Revised Code, special police officer employed by a municipal corporation at a municipal airport or other municipal air navigation facility described in division (A) of this section, township constable, police officer of a township or joint police district, state university law enforcement officer appointed under section 3345.04 of the Revised Code, peace officer of the department of natural resources, individual designated to perform law enforcement duties under section 511.232, 1545.13, or 6101.75 of the Revised Code, the house sergeant at arms if the house sergeant at arms has arrest authority pursuant to division (E)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code, or an assistant house sergeant at arms is authorized by division (A) or (B) of this section to arrest and detain, within the limits of the political subdivision, metropolitan housing authority housing project, regional transit authority facilities or those areas of a municipal corporation that have been agreed to by a regional transit authority and a municipal corporation located within its territorial jurisdiction … if all of the following apply:
I did not ask East Cleveland city council for permission to enter an agreement with any municipal corporation that authorized warrantless pursuits into East Cleveland. No mayor since or before me, including Darryl Pittman as the first in 1986, ever entered such an agreement to authorize warrantless pursuits into the city.
East Cleveland city council and Cleveland’s city council would have been required to enact separation resolutions authorizing the agreement. The resolutions would have provided instructions to law enforcement officers on each side on how to handle warrantless pursuits. None exist. Every municipal corporation whose law enforcement officers have entered the city since I left has violated it if the statute’s plain English language is the guiding instruction.
My instructions to East Cleveland police officers before my four year term expired on December 31, 2009 were to arrest any police officer who entered the city’s borders from another municipal corporation. They were instructed not to enter another city’s borders. I advised the mayors and city managers who I didn’t enter agreements with that their police officers would be arrested. They had permission to arrest East Cleveland cops. I instructed Ralph Spotts to inform the surrounding chiefs of police.
Each municipal corporation’s authority is sovereign. Scott Gardner in his official capacity as East Cleveland’s chief of police possesses no legal authority to authorize Cleveland cops to investigate their crimes inside the municipal corporation that employs him. Employees have no contract signing authority that binds aa municipal corporation under Ohio law. The mayor is the contract signatory on all municipal contracts except those entered by the council for the council; or the judge for the court.
Without agreements entered between city councils in the same territories the warrantless pursuits outside municipal corporations are not authorized by law.
Without resolutions from East Cleveland and Cleveland city council authorizing police officers to pursue across each municpal corporation’s borders, Gardner and sergeant Larry McDonald should have led East Cleveland police officers to arrest and seek criminal charges against the Cleveland cops who entered the city. Even now it’s their duty to confirm and not simply accept the lawfulness of the warrantless pursuit that began with a Target Department Store security guard leaving private property to pursue a teen who didn’t have authorization to use the vehicle he took.
East Cleveland’s negligence in enforcing R.C. 2935.03 won’t help the city when Tamia Chapman’s family sues. Gardner’s decision to let Cleveland cops investigate their own crime creates yet another liability for East Cleveland taxpayers on top of the more then $100 million law enforcement impersonators like him have generated to crush the city’s future.
Gardner should be criminally charged, again, for failing to perform the duties of the job he holds as a police chief with two convictions based on felony indictments. The individual impersonating East Cleveland’s director of law without an oath of office and bond should do something now to protect East Cleveland’s rights and defenses by ordering the investigation of Cleveland police and their warrantless pursuit that Gardner didn’t. There are discrepancies about the Caller’s identity.
Cleveland identified the nature of the call as being a police officer, EMS, fire or auxiliary worker in trouble. There was no law enforcement officer in trouble. The person who made the call and pursued worked for Target Department Store as a security guard.
It doesn’t matter that he also worked for Cleveland as a cop. He left private property in a Chevy Silverado. Describing him as a law enforcement officer is a cover-up East Cleveland cops have a duty to investigate.